Cast Set For Giffords Circus 2024 Tour, AVALON

Performances begin this June.

By: May. 29, 2024
Cast Set For Giffords Circus 2024 Tour, AVALON
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International circus stars have been assembled for the Giffords Circus 2024 tour, Avalon.

This year’s show is set in the colourful medieval world of pageantry and Arthurian legend, and features dazzling circus acts from across the globe in the roles of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, knights Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawain, Lady Morgan le Fay, The Lady of Shalott, and Merlin the Magician.  

Featuring lavish period costumes and a magical set designed by award winning international acclaimed performance designer takis, whose innovative and diverse body of work encompasses West End, opera and leading UK theatre and who has been nominated for over 20 major awards including Olivier awards, international opera awards and Whatsonstage awards.

Giffords Circus is a show that appeals to both young and old, and with a cult following of rock stars and A-list celebrities; it is a magical nod to old fashioned circus with a glamorous theatrical twist.

Giffords Circus Avalon is directed by comedy genius Cal McCrystal, Director at Giffords Circus since 2012, whose immense body of work includes One Man, Two Guvnors at The National Theatre, the Olivier Award-winning Iolanthe and Oliver nominated HMS Pinafore (both at the ENO) and Ian McKellen’s recent Mother Goose (West End and UK tour).

Cal says: “Giffords Circus is so much more than a traditional circus. Our astonishing mix of thrills, skills, adventure, romance, theatrics and hilarity will change all your preconceptions of traditional circus. You will fall in love with our travelling world of acrobats, clowns, magicians, jugglers, vintage wagons, and entrancing music. To come to Giffords is to immerse yourself in another world and escape everyday life for a few blissful hours.”

So step inside the big top and into a colourful  production that rivals any West End show.

Now meet the stars of the show...

Tyler West

American Tyler West - hailed by a New York Times critic as “the most exhilarating comic performer I’ve seen all year” - is already winning praise from UK audiences and critics for his hilarious audience interaction and comedy rollerskating skills at the heart of the 2024 Giffords Circus show, Avalon.

Tyler, 28, plays hapless Cuthbert, who dreams of one day becoming a Knight of the Round Table in King Arthur’s court.

Tyler was spotted in a variety show in Las Vegas by Giffords’ acclaimed director Cal McCrystal and he was immediately booked to make his debut in this year’s show.

Tyler was inspired to become a clown while watching Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco while he was in 7th grade at school. “I just became obsessed with them,” he says. “I researched as much as I could, practising in the mirror, dressing up at home and stuff like that.”

Describing himself as “half the size but twice the fun”, 4-foot 3-inch Tyler was born with dwarfism but puts his height at the centre of his clowning comedy.  “Being a little person I thought I could hide from it at the beginning of my career and just prove to everyone that I’m a funny person, but I can’t hide from it. I have to make the joke first before someone else can make a joke of it.”

Now based in New York City, where he performs in the leading cabaret and burlesque clubs, Tyler also volunteers as a clown in city hospitals, including performing for sick children at the Sloan-Kettering

Cancer Center on the Upper East Side. He was hailed by the New York Times as “the most exhilarating comic performer I’ve seen all year.”

A full-time clown traveling the world as a guest artist, he has worked in many circuses from Circus Flic Flac, to La Clique, Circus Flora, Bindlestiff Family Circus, and many more.

The Giffords Circus five-month tour to 12 UK locations is the longest he has ever undertaken. “I’ve been in shows that played sit downs in a couple of US cities before but I’ve never had to pitch and take down the tent and move from town to town like a traditional circus. 

“There’s few other circuses that do what they do here at Giffords. The thought that goes into the idea, the music, the story - it’s a step above. Not many do this type of circus at this calibre. The costumes are ridiculously great, the dancing is great, the choreography, the acrobatics, the music is killer.”

Nick Hodge

Nick Hodge (King Arthur) is a cyr wheel coach and performer who has worked nationally and internationally. Nick has performed for audiences across the world, and contributed to the IRV Cyr Wheel Competition catalogue, and is recognised by companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, and The 7 Fingers.

Nick has headlined Spiegelworld’s show OPM at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, and multiple Symphony Orchestras across North America.

Nick is also an accomplished cyr wheel competitor. He has won national titles, competed at the IRV Wheel Gymnastics World championships, and currently acts as the cyr wheel ambassador for Team USA. 

Patrick Clarrison and Philippa Ashley

Patrick Clarrison and Philippa Ashley present Pat & Pip’s Hotdogs -  gorgeous dogs, who perform an original, prize-winning comedy act.

All the dogs you will see in the show have been adopted or rescued from dog shelters around Europe, and have been given a new lease of life, now causing mischief in the circus ring! The dogs have performed worldwide including the prestigious Monte Carlo Circus Festival.

Patrick comes from a showbusiness background - his grandfather was one half of the famous vaudeville comedy duo, ‘Syd and Max Harrison’. He started his act in 2005 when he adopted a couple of dogs in France and despite being born in London, this is the first time he has appeared in the UK.

Asia and Dylan Medini

Dylan Medini (Sir Lancelot) and Asia Medini (Lady Morgan le Fay) are fifth-generation circus performers and come from one of Italy’s oldest circus families.

Their dynamic high-speed roller-skating act has thrilled audiences all over the world. They have performed in Holland, Ireland and France, in the Christmas circus Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, as well as in Spain and Mexico with Cabaret Maldito from Circo de los Horrores, ‘Heart’ in Ibiza and recently finished their season in the US at Circus Vázquez.

They made their pantomime debut in Goldilocks at the Theatre Royal Newcastle, and also performed in Goldilocks at the London Palladium.

Before returning to Giffords Circus they starred in Germany at Roncalli’s Apollo Varieté.

Maximiliano Stia

Maximiliano Stia (Merlin the Magician) will return to Giffords Circus. Maxi first appeared at Giffords in 2013 and 2015 and is a versatile magician who discovered his passion for magic at the age of 14 and has not stopped performing around the world ever since.

Maxi began his journey as a street performer, bringing his art to the streets and has travelled with ‘Clowns Without Borders’, bringing joy and magic to children in need, in places such as Palestine, Iraq, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Throughout his career, Maxi has been Master of Ceremonies for international galas, won awards in the world of magic, and appeared on TV shows. He founded the Palace of Magic in Barcelona, a place where he can share all the joy, humour, and magic that he is passionate about. Maxi believes in the power of magic to inspire and amaze people of all ages and cultures. With each of his magic tricks, he ignites a spark of imagination and wonder, reminding us that magic is everywhere if we are willing to believe in it.

Nell O’Hara

Nell O’Hara (Guinevere) starred in 2023 in Giffords Circus Les Enfants du Paradis to great acclaim. Nell is excited to return and be part of this year’s show.

An actor, singer and movement artiste based in the UK, she graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2022 and was a member of the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme at Dance Base Edinburgh for 2022/23.

Nell was a resident artiste at Cove Park in September 2022 before working as Assistant Director on Wonder Fools production of 549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War. She has worked with companies such as Lyra, The Traverse Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and is choreographer for Glasgow band Tom McGuire & the Brassholes. Nell also worked as a Director’s Assistant with Giffords Circus in 2017 on Any Port in a Storm.

Latoya Donnert

Latoya Donnert  (The Lady of Shalott ) comes from a long line of circus performers. Her father’s side are from a famous Hungarian circus dynasty and her mother’s side a famous English circus family. Latoya was raised in the circus and has been very lucky to perform all over Europe in many prestigious circus shows with her liberty horse act. Her horses are her family, with her father teaching her the family business from a young age working with care, respect, patience and a love and passion for her craft.

The Rivelino’s

Sito and Daniel Santos Silva (Barold the Page), publicly known as ‘The Rivelino’s are 8th and 9th generation circus performers from Spain.

Daniel’s journey into the vibrant world of circus performance began before he could even walk. Growing up surrounded by the mesmerising allure of the big top, he absorbed the artistry, learning the craft from his father. Their performances weren’t just a spectacle; they were a fusion of tradition and innovation, performing in different stages such as Circus Arena in Denmark or Cirque Du Lux in Luxembourg, captivating audiences all around Europe.

As Daniel grew up he kept honing his skills, he delved deeper into the essence of clowning and slapstick comedy. He learned the delicate balance between choreographed routines and spontaneous improvisation, perfecting the art of drawing laughter from unexpected moments. At 28 years of age, he firmly believes each performance becomes a canvas where he’s able to paint laughter with vibrant hues, leaving the audience enchanted and uplifted.

Morgan Barbour & Victoria Sejr

Joining forces exclusively for Giffords Circus are aerial artists  Morgan Barbour (Isolde - Damsel Of The Ring) and Victoria Sejr (Enid - Damsel Of The Ring). Hailing from Argentina and the United States, this dynamic duo bring together a blend of aerial hoop and hair hang that is sure to leave jaws on the floor. Their work has been produced throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Prior work includes: (Barbour) America’s Got Talent, Coliseu dos Recreios, Das Supertalent, Wintercircus Royal, Ranking the Talent, Kazakh State Circus, Saratoga Shakespeare Company, Nebraska Rep, Jay Millers Circus; (Serj) The 7 Fingers, MSC Cruises, Proud Embankment, The Clapham Grand, West End Brunch, Gandey’s Circus, Charles Chipperfield Circus, Panic Circus, and Circus Belly.

The Godfathers

First appearing at Giffords Circus in 2023 Lucky 13 and 2014 The Thunders, we are thrilled to welcome The Godfather’s back to Giffords Circus this year. The Godfather’s are an Ukrainian acrobatic quartet, having spent their early years as acrobatic sports competitors, winning many championships in their native Ukraine, throughout Europe and the World. In 2008 after finishing their career in sports, they came together to create The Godfather’s, an acrobatic troupe, that has won many awards through the circus world, such as 1st International Circus Festival of Spain (Albacete) special prize, 14th International Circus Festival “City Latina” - special prize and the 10th International Circus Festival of Budapest - special prize.

The full list of Artistes performing in Giffords Circus AVALON:

Maximiliano Stia – Merlin the Magician
Nell O’Hara – Queen Guinevere
Tyler West – Cuthbert
Nick Hodge – King Arthur
Dylan Medini – Sir Lancelot
Asia Medini – Lady Morgan le Fay
Patrick Harrison - Sir Dagonet
Pip Ashley – The Priestess, Lenore
Latoya Donnert – The Lady of Shalott
Pony - Kelpie
Steeds - Llamrei and Hengroe
Morgan Ashley Barbour - Isolde - Damsel Of The Ring
Natalia Victoria Fernandez Ciprian – Enid - Damsel Of The Ring
Serhii Niemtsev - Sir Escanor the Large
Andriy Moskva - Sir Galahad
Nikita Ostrovskyi - Sir Bedevere
Volodymyr Potaychuk - Sir Gwaine
Dany Rivelino - Barold the Page
DENISE - Igrayne

The Giffords Circus Band:

James Keay – Music Director
Emma Price
Joe Pickering
David Meredith
Rob Taylor
Morgan Pugh
David Meredith
Nicholas Hann

Written and directed by Cal McCrystal
Creative advisors: James Keay & Tweedy the Clown

Creative Team:

Cal McCrystal – Writer & Director
Stuart Winter – Associate Director
takis – Production & Costume Designer
James Keay – Musical Director
Kate Smyth – Choreographer
Ian Scott – Lighting Designer
James Marsh – Sound Designer
Emma Campbell – Assistant Choreographer
Joe Avery – Head of Art
Beatrix Eden & Jamie Sanders – Pyrite Creative
 




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